Growing up, we were all trained in school on what to do if a serious situation was to ever occur. For fire drills, we would all go in a single file line out a door. Severe weather drills took us down to the basement with our hands over our heads. Those are plans that have never changed and were ingrained in our heads from a young age. And while fires and severe weather are still scary, we focus on them because we figure that they are more common than what our issue is now: school shootings. Since the beginning of this year, there have already been 12 school shootings in the U.S. and Uniontown Area High School could have easily been the 13th.
As we all know, a 14 year old student was caught with the intentions of causing “mass casualties” at the high school on Friday, January 26th. He was apprehended at his house the night before where police found a multitude of weapons in his bedroom; one semi-automatic rifle, one shotgun, two lever-action rifles, one revolver, one crossbow, bulk ammunition for all weapons, throwing knives and two machetes. He also had a hit list of four people at the school and a family member who he simply just “did not like”.
That day could have gone very differently for all of us here at Uniontown High School and we are all very thankful that it was reported and stopped before anything could happen. This situation leaves us with so many questions. What would we do if a shooter ever did make it into our school? How did the 14 year old get so many weapons? But the question that is splitting us our student body in two is would you consider him part victim or all villain? When you are born, you are raised a certain way and that influences the greater part of who you are for the rest of your life. Your life would have to be absolutely horrible to think that the only way out of it would be to spend 25 years of your life in prison. But what if he deserved what he had coming to him? What if there is no way to excuse or sugarcoat what he was planning to do? Maybe you believe the answer to be a little bit of both.
Regardless of where you stand, we all can agree that we avoided a major catastrophe and can learn and grow from this.